School Days, Higurashi and Yosuga no Sora: Anime’s Blood and Sex Trilogy

With only a few exceptions, I will talk about anything anime related here at Shallow Dives in Anime. This means that I’ve covered a wide range of different shows, from the comedic, to the action packed, to the straight up lewd. I quite enjoy this approach, mostly because I believe you can find a good story in any genre if the effort is put in. Throughout the two years I’ve done this blog however, there have been three shows that really stood out to me. Anime that talks about interesting ideas, or have compelling stories, or take risks in what they show. Some are better than others, not all of them are considered ‘good’ by the fandom, but they are still worth talking about. I’ve spoken about them all before, but after the cut let’s discuss School Days, Higurashi and Yosuga no Sora, or as I call it. Anime’s Blood and Sex Trilogy.

At first, and final glance, these three series could not be more different. Each of them tells a vastly different story, operating on different genres, and with wildly ranging critical reception. Yet having watched all three of them, they have all stood out in a certain way that I didn’t expect. I’ll be honest and admit up front that I didn’t expect to be as invested in School Days as I ended up being, or enjoy the horror and suspense of Higurashi, or be as moved by the melancholic atmosphere of Yosuga no Sora. Yet I was, and these remain some of the few anime shows that I keep thinking about even weeks, months or even years since I watched them.

Now I am not one of those people who is going to regale you with a 6000+ word essay on the human condition or try to wrap a show around this or that belief or idea. Yet I can’t deny that each of these three shows have themes and idea that reflect the human heart, spirit, and soul. School Days is harem anime’s closest attempt at a deconstruction, a warning tale about what happens to teenagers with no guiding hand. A chilling tale about the failure of communication and when the carnal desires of a man are indulged completely. Yosuga no Sora builds off this, discussing themes of loneliness, isolation, passion, and regret. A story of two siblings who have been robbed of a stable home and family, and instead turn to others, and then each other for comfort and intimacy. And Higurashi starts off as a collection of typical teenage horror, before transforming into a dark and gripping thriller revolving around lies, deception, abuse, paranoia, and then ultimately perseverance and friendship.

Image result for haruka and sora
Yosuga no Sora’s depiction of taboo love is spicy to some, unsettling to others, but it speaks to a feeling of loneliness and isolation.

And what makes these stories work is that each of them fully commits to their premise and their ideas. School Days rips your heart out as you see the harem fantasy get torn apart by a spiral into jealously, insanity and madness. Higurashi goes on a blood-soaked rampage through several different stories and then into a story of abuse and denial that rips out your heart. And Yosuga no Sora does not pull its punches in the depiction of intimacy, love, and yes, sex. Each anime is not afraid to tell these difficult stories and have the courage to show the things they need to get the across. While some have a heavier lift than others (Yosuga) all three anime are all honest about what they are about: blood and sex.

Higurashi’s leaves nothing but blood and horror on the floor, but the bonds of friendship and ideas of revenge, justice and passion are evident in every corner.

Of course, these shows are not perfect, and some have a better reception than others. While Higurashi is considered a classic among the fan-sub era anime fans, it can be difficult to follow at times, and hasn’t aged well in terms of production. School Days has often been mocked for its lackluster animation and sometime padded run-time. Yosuga no Sora has been meme’d to high heaven for the show’s full-throated commitment to incest in its second half. I won’t lie to you that each of these don’t have their issues, but in the west, where instead of pushing boundaries and telling good stories, animators are more concerned with social peacocking and cynical indulgence, Japan and shows like these three remain stellar examples of what can be achieved when creators can tell stories, regardless of what people may think.

School Days is a series best watched spoiled – Thoughts That Move
It may be too good to be true, and that’s because it honestly is. School Days shines a mirror to the harem idea, and shows what happens when there is no guiding hand of wsidom.

School Days, Higurashi and Yosuga no Sora, Anime’s blood and sex trilogy won’t be everyone. You might not even agree with anything I have said, and that is fine. I’m not here to tell you that these are masterpieces of storytelling. What I will say is that they are three stories wrapped in the passion of humanity, the good and the bad, a presentation of bloodshed and sex that, at the very least, will pull you in to their stories if only to see if they end up a train wreck, or a touching moving story. I absolutely adored all three of these, and if you are so inclined, give them a look and see if you do as well.

Also, the reason I didn’t throw Mirai Nikki in here and make it a quartet is that Nikki has massive plot and structural problems (in my view) that damage the series too much. Still, consider it an honorary member.

One thought on “School Days, Higurashi and Yosuga no Sora: Anime’s Blood and Sex Trilogy

  1. Haven’t seen the others but Yosuga no Sora was rather fun. Some people think it is one story in which the protagonist gets all the girls sequentially. I could see that freaking out some conservative types. Obviously, it is a game and each arc is a different path one could go down in it. The omake segments at the end of the episodes are yet another separate arc.

    The incest arc is interesting in that there are enough inconsistencies that one could reasonably imagine that the brother and sister actually die in the lake and everything beyond that is all some kind of fantasy. The game has other arcs that weren’t followed up in the show.

    Liked by 1 person

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